picked up Taiwan: A Political
by Denny Roy while I was browsing idly in the Munk
Center library - looking for something to
read over an impending Chinese lunch. In fact, I’ve wanted to know more
about Taiwan’s history for quite a while, and this was a good
opportunity. Good book - told me a lot of things that I didn’t know.
How Taiwan wasn’t regarded as part of China throughout history, and
emigration was even forbidden by the Chinese government.
The struggles (and sometimes conviviality) between Chinese settlers
and native populations
How China gave up Taiwan to Japan under the terms of the Treaty of
Shimonoseki of 1895
Taiwan under Japan, almost fifty years. The transformation from
disparate ethnic groups to a feeling of Taiwanness. Trying to
control the natives. Forced use of the Japanese language. Taiwanese
who struggled against/collaborated with Japanese. Rapid
modernization. Not part of Japan, not rights of Japanese citizen -
Still lot’s of experimentation with self-government, gradually
gained more representation. Especially towards the war, when Japan
was loosing legitimacy. Preparation for later democracy… Some
Taiwanese fight for Japan in war.
Japanese leaving and Chiang Kai-Shek’s people taking over (before
they have to abandon the mainland).
Taiwanese seen as traitors (even though China gave them willingly to
Japan), “not to be trusted”… Treated very poorly.
KMT moves to island. Separation mainlanders / taiwanese (those who
had been there before 1949).
Military dictatorship. Mainlanders in most positions of power.
China would have invaded if not for the Korea war? This also makes
US care more about fate of Taiwan.
Initially China was more positive about rapproachment, Taiwan was
the tough one. Cut diplomatic ties with countries that recognized
PRC unilaterally etc.
UN - after several years of Albania rising the issue, finally
accepts PRC. US tries to convince Taiwan to accept dual
representation, but they issue ultimatum. Leave UN, and all UN
organizations, hours before the vote (voluntarily).
Death of Chiang Kai-Shek 1975, son Chiang Ching-Kong. Gradual move
towards democracy. Democratic Progress Party first independent
party. Then president elected by people.
First Lee Deng-Hui: did a lot of good, but quelled inner-party
democracy, a bit of a Machiavellian. Very unpopular with mainland.
Chen Shui-Bian, first non-KMT president. Firebrand. First president
born in Taiwan.